Saturday, June 24, 2017

Surely the Premier League title race is now over

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini was angry at some of the decisions in his sides 2-0 defeat at Everton

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini was angry at some of the decisions made by referee Lee Probert in his sides 2-0 defeat at Everton yesterday

Yesterday Manchester United stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 15 points.

This was courtesy of United defeating Reading 1-0 at Old Trafford and City suffering a 2-0 defeat at Everton in the early kick-off.

Unlikely

Prior to yesterday’s top flight games the prospect of Manchester City catching Manchester United at the top of the table looked unlikely, it now looks all-but impossible for the champions to retain their crown.

It would take a major collapse from the Red Devils now for the Citizens to catch their arch rivals and it doesn’t look like happening. Manchester United look too determined to take back the title after losing it to City last season to throw it away now.

Angry

According to Manchester City assistant boss David Platt City boss Roberto Mancini was ‘angry’ after the 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park. Presumably the decision to award City a free-kick instead of a penalty late-on when Marouane Fellaini handled the ball in the penalty box was what made the Italian boss feel that way.

Officials

In truth though, City could have already been 2-0 down in the first half when Everton winger Kevin Mirallas had a seemingly good effort ruled out for offside.

Everton could also have been awarded a penalty in the first half, when Marouane Fellaini was blocked off by Matija Nastasic in the penalty area.  The decision may not have been as cut and dry as City’s claim, but the officials gave poor decisions for both sides.

Undeserved

David Platt also suggested that maybe his team didn’t deserve anything from the game and he was right. Everton were the better team in every department. Even when Everton were reduced to ten men the home side were still solid enough to keep City out.

The champions just didn’t look sharp enough and didn’t have the guile to break down a very determined Toffee’s defence. City didn’t look like they had the same verve and energy that they displayed at times last season.

Their display against Everton really didn’t deserve anything other than defeat and unfortunately for City they have endured too many off these sorts of games this season.

Comfortable

In the late kick-off Manchester United defeated Reading 1-0 at Old Trafford. It was a relatively comfortable victory for United and there was a feeling that they could move up a gear if they needed.

Manchester United have the ability to play under-par and still win games. Manchester City don’t seem to have that in their locker at the moment and that could mean the difference between winning the Premier League title and not.

Boss

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has received a lot of support from his own supporters this season because he won the Premier League title last season. Questions must be asked of the Italian boss this season though.

Some of his tactical decisions have cost City points this season, such as playing three at the back. The champions just haven’t looked comfortable or capable of playing the formation, yet Mancini insists on using it.

City again played with three centre-backs against Everton and again it didn’t work out for the champions. Mancini hasn’t learnt from his mistakes and City are being punished for them.

Over

Last season’s Premier League title race taught us to expect the unexpected, but surely 15 points is too big a gap to bridge? It’s unprecedented for a team to throw away such a lead at this stage of the season.

It seems that Manchester City fans are now resigned to their arch-rivals reclaiming the Premier League crown. They may not like to admit it but Manchester United has been the better team over the season and it looks like they are set to receive their reward.

Is the Premier League title race now over?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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4 Comments on "Surely the Premier League title race is now over"

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danny
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danny
It’s been a funny year this season…united look like winning the league at a canter without ever really playing well….another prem won on the capitulation of our rivals rather than by skill and ability….united havent really had a good side since 2008…however ambramovichs meddling and the awful mancini has meant we have won more trophies than perhaps we have deserved…united have become efficient like the german national side on the 90,s..and altho most will say i am being harsh….can anyone name 5 great perfomances this season??? in fact if you think back to 2008 can you think of many since… Read more »
Todd
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I would say that the race is over and I agree with Danny to a point. They have done exactly what City (or any other club for that matter) has not been able to do: grind out wins. There have been MANY wins that have not been pretty (both against Reading to name 2), but they still managed to get the three points. I think Mancini had a good point in saying that the United team is tired. They have had several massive matches in a row including a very draining Champions League tie. The mental and emotional toll those… Read more »
Brad
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Brad

I was gonna say something, but Danny’s done did it for me

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